The fairest of roses
Now found is the fairest of roses
Its beauty midst thorns it discloses,
Our Jesus this offshoot and dower
Midst us human sinners did flower.
Since lost is the glory of bearing
The fruit of God’s image, uncaring
The world has seemed, barren and wasted,
We all by our sins death have tasted.
As thistles to nought can aspire
Than all be consigned to the fire,
So too was the world fit for burning
And cursed with no hope of returning.
Then God let a rose thrive and flower.
Its seed He did further empower
To cleanse and to sweeten entirely
The yield that was ruined so direly.
Now God’s Church its glory is wearing,
The finest of fruits can be bearing,
For Jesus its yield is reviving,
The plants with new sap are all thriving.
The whole world with joy should be singing,
The air with glad psalms should be ringing,
But many are deaf to the telling:
The rose in the world has its dwelling.
You thistle-minds, hardened and sickly,
As statues so stiff, thorns so prickly,
Why stand you there tall and unblinking
In pride’s so depraved way of thinking?
Oh, seek what is low and in keeping,
In dust for your Saviour be weeping,
Then you will our Jesus be knowing,
For roses in valleys are growing.
You, Jesus, will be beyond measure
My rose and my glory, my treasure,
My heart you have captured completely,
Your sweetness does nourish and feed me.
My rose is my jewel and my treasure,
My rose is my joy and my pleasure;
My poisonous lusts you have beaten,
The cross you deliciously sweeten.
Let this cruel world seek to ensnare me,
Let thorns try to scratch, rend and tear me,
Let life from my poor heart be taken,
My rose will remain unforsaken.